Shanling M6 Review

In this review we take a close look at the Shanling M6 DAP, selling for the price of $499 USD.




Disclaimer : The Shanling M6was sent to us free of charge by the brand in exchange for an honest opinion. 

About Shanling

Founded in 1988, Shanling has been developing Hi-Fi products for more than 30 years now. From high-end CD player to classy tube-amp, the brand made a name thanks to great craftsmanship and top of the line performances.

These past years, the brand also developed a complete range of players and IEM. If the last time we reviewed the Shanling ME500, a great IEM in my opinion, today we’ll be reviewing their new flagship DAP, the M6.

So, is the Shanling M6 better than the FiiO M11 or the iBasso DX160? Time to find out

The Shanling DAP Series

As usual, we’ll begin with a quick presentation of Shanling DAP catalog.

Shanling M0

The Shanling M0 is a small DAP that looks a lot like the famous Apple Watch. As a matter of fact, you can even use the M0 as a watch, with the proper wristband. At the core of the Shanling M0, you have a SABRE 9019P chip. It’s a bit different than the usual 9018S but the specs remain mostly the same, a good thing.

Shanling M0

Berkhan reviewed it and said: “For its very small price and footprint, very good usage and sound performance (…) it sounds good, performs good and the amount of features were just enough to convince me”

If you want to know more about the M0, you must check Berkhan review : “hello beastie”.

Shanling M2X

The Shanling M2X replaced the M2S in the brand catalog. It shares the same footprint but enjoys a better chipset with an AK4490EN DAC and a WiFi connection for AirPlay and Tidal Playback.

Honestly, it’s a Shanling M5S, but cheaper and smaller with all the goods, minus the stretched case. I liked it a lot during my previous review : “ Simply put, the Shanling M2X is an M5S in kid clothes. You get the same sound signature – dry, precise, subtle – without the awkward design previously shown by the M5S“

Shanling M3S

Take a Shanling M2S and stretch it from top to bottom, you get the Shanling M3S. From a side to side comparison, the only difference would be this black box at the bottom of the player. Same (astoundingly) good build, same scroll-wheel system, same screen size.

The difference comes from the inside, the Shanling M3S doubling almost every spec: 2x AK4490EQ DAC, 4x LPF circuit, 4x headphone amp circuits and 2x headphone output (single-ended and balanced).

Again, Berkhan reviewed it and said: “Tiny in size may be, but this is a huge DAP from Shanling. They surely know how to create an effective audio circuitry and great sound quality with that. “

Find out more information from our review, linked here : “Perfectly Balanced”

Shanling M5S

If you really want to go limo style with your Shanling DAP, you may lean toward the M5S. It’s great player with a dual AK4490EN circuit and a powerful headphone amp section. The sound is superb, but the UI is quite quirky and if you’re on a budget, the M2X gets you nearly the same performance, for a fraction of the size/price.

We reviewed it a few months ago: “ The splendid build quality alone is a vast accomplishment on its own, if you don’t take in to account of the low-resolution screen. The DAP is enjoyable on various levels: the fast UI and a straightforward and beautiful design”

You can even check my own review here !

Shanling M6

The Shanling M6 is the new flagship of the brand. Full Android experience, for streaming and wireless playback, Dual AKM DAC, a new and improved circuit for more output power, on paper all seems better.

Good news, this is the player we are about to review.

The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.

4.2/5 - (95 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.


  • Reply February 7, 2020

    Vibhav Srivaths

    Page 2 has a typo, mentioning that a Shanling M2x is is bundled with the Shanling M6 – took me by surprise 🙂

  • Reply April 24, 2020

    Mr Fripp

    I think shanling is an undervalued brand. The have very good DAP’s. I have tried many DAP including fiio m6, m9 y m11 pro. Today i have sr15, kann, m2x, r6 pro and now the shanling m6. Despite of some thing that they have to fix (like gapless option) this DAP sound great. I really enjoy listening it. My first impresion is that I enjoyed more that the m11 pro (i sold it). I cannot say that sound better than the m11 pro because it depends of many thing like the headphones thay you are using and the style of music that you are listening. I love rock ( all kind of) so for me, rock music sound better in my m6 thant the m11 pro. If I listen pantera or metallica, in my m11 pro will sound beautiful but losing the energy. It’s just my opinion.

    Thanks fornthe review

    • Reply May 31, 2020

      Matthew Helvick

      Can you elaborate on the gapless issue? Is it something that just isnt an option? I usually put my stuff on random but most albums i have flow from song to song. Gapless was something i thought was solved back in the early 2000s

  • Reply June 7, 2020

    Mr fripp


    They don’t put the gapless option in their music app. I asked them and they confirm me that the option is not available and probably they will add it. For that reason i have dowloaded the fiio music. I love progressive rock and there are song that must be played with gapless option but i agree, most of the time i play random music too.

  • Reply June 13, 2020


    Hello, what would be a better option? ibasso dx160 or Shanling M6 (no pro) greetings and thanks

  • Reply July 23, 2020


    Can you compare to the ibasso dx160?

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